Russia to get its own Silicon Valley

Russia could soon have its own Silicon Valley now that a new venture has launched.

The project, imaginatively named the “Innovative Centre,” is to be established in Skolkovo near Moscow and will include companies, laboratories, university campuses, and housing for 30,000 people. That’s a whole lot of employees they’re expecting.

The intended focus will be on research and development in energy, nuclear electricity, telecommunications, IT, medical and biotechnologies, according to EETimes.

It is to be co-led by Zhores Alferov, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Physics, Roger Kornberg, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, and former Intel CEO Craig Barrett.

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev is hoping it will raise international interest, with Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg already involved with the project. As an added incentive companies and residents in the new venture will not have to pay profit tax, VAT or property tax for ten years.

This has led to some speculation regarding Russia’s past history for corruption, but Medvedev believes the Russian answer to Silicon Valley has nothing to worry about. We’ll have to wait and see.